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The extreme view on digital music

October 3rd, 2007

copyleftI hate music labels, and their abuse of the courts gives law a bad name in my opinion. Yesterday, Jennifer Pariser, the head of litigation for Sony BMG, testified in a file-sharing case. On the stand, she was asked whether it was wrong for consumers to rip their CDs onto their iPods. Her answer:

“When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Making “a copy” of a purchased song is just “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy’,” she said.

I am not a lawyer, but I certainly hope the courts take a broader view of fair use than this music executive. Would the public good be served by such extreme protection that allowed the labels to dictate where, when and how we consume digital entertainment? I think entertainers need no further incentives, and such restrictions would only serve to harm the benefits of freedom that fair use provides.

It doesn’t surprise me that the labels are attacking CD ripping. Why? Because purchasing CDs and then ripping the songs to mp3s is the best and fairest way to consume digital music. I think it is better in most cases than purchasing online if you value fair uses like backing up your music without permission, etc.

Via slashdot.

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